I spent 3 weeks in Koh Samui and New Hut was one of my favourite places to sit, eat and relax in Lamai. It also has different kinds of beach huts you can stay in and a counter by the entrance of the restaurant acts as a tourist office that holds lots of info about trips and excursions that you can do in and around the island.
Food-wise, it was all very tasty and I always got a big portion. As seems to be the norm across Thailand, the Thai food was particularly inexpensive and for 50-70TB you can get all different kinds of rice dishes with or without meat, Pad Thai and other 'Pad' dishes. Western food is more expensive (I paid about 120TB for a sandwich with french fries) and drink prices were similar to most other places I visited (coffee at 30TB, Cola 30TB, orange juice 60TB, Chang/Tiger/Singer beer about 60TB and cocktails from 150TB).
It opens at 7am so you can get an early breakfast there is you need to and again this includes Thai and Western options. It does close by 9pm though, which I thought was a little early.
Overall, the quality you get for the price is very good, and it is cheap because it isn't in Lamai centre but further along the main road. This location may be a negative point for some people as you will need to walk or ride there. Plus, be careful not to miss it as it is only marked by a single sign on the road. If you do walk there, it will take about 20 to 30 minutes along the road from Lamai centre (if you pass Billy's shopping/eating precinct you have gone too far). Or you can walk along the beach from where ever you may be staying along Lamai beach.
For me, one of the best things about New Hut was this location. As it isn't in Lamai centre it is in a quieter, less hectic and in a lesser developed environment and the setting on the beach-front is lovely. Altogether, this gave it quite a tranquil feel as you can eat, listen to the sea and feel the breeze and without a chorus of thumping music, motorbikes or loud people around you.
Despite this, the restaurant can still get pretty busy and many people from the neighbouring huts eat there regularly. Therefore, it isn't a place to seek solitude but even if it did get really busy the general ambience stayed intact. At night time some of the lighting comes from lamps in a large tree that is above one of the front-sides of the restaurant and this gives it all quite a soft and romantic feeling.
It is quite a large restaurant with lots of tables to choose from and if you are after a bit more privacy there are some tables that are more tucked away. This may, however, affect the service you get as there is likely to be pillars or plants that obstruct how much the staff can see you.
If you need the toilet you will have to use the communal toilets that are used by some of their huts. This wasn't a problem for me as I had got used to the whole toilet system by then and they seemed to be kept clean which is the main thing. TIP: You will find the toilet paper in a wooden box on your table so remember to take it with you before you leave the table. One of the reviewers below stated that this actually disgusted him, but, in answer to that, I would say please remember you are in Thailand, this is how it is in a lot of places, it isn't unhygienic at all and you may actually find it quite useful if you get a runny nose after eating something hot.
If you are travelling alone but fancy a chat to a fellow traveller, you may or may not find it at New Hut. There certainly is a social element of sorts, especially if you stay in one of their huts, but the restaurant isn't really a place where you can be sure to meet new friends and acquaintances. This was fine for me as I wasn't really interested in meeting lots of people. Yet, I did still strike up some random conversations and I had a bit of a drinking session with some other random travellers on one particular evening.
With that said, New Hut is not a drinking spot. You can definitely sit and drink without eating anything and there is a happy hour on cocktails. However, at it closes by 9pm, you will need to move on somewhere else if you wish to drink some more. Again, this is where location may be a problem for some, particularly those who want to dance around to lots of music as you will need to walk or ride back to Lamai centre or into Chaweng. However, there are other more chilled bars all along the main road so it is still easy to find somewhere else to sit and drink into the early hours.
The service is generally good. Sometimes you may feel that they could smile a bit more and you may have to remind them you are there, especially if you sit at a more private table. However, it never feels that this is intentional, lazy or bad-mannered and they are always very approachable. Only two of the staff speak decent English while the others seem to know very little, making it hard to communicate at times. But, if this happens they will probably fetch one of those who does know English, avoiding any frustrations.
Overall, this is a good restaurant with good people and a good vibe that is quite tranquil and completely unpretentious. It would be suitable for families, couples and group or solo travellers who want a nice and inexpensive meal in a lovely setting. If you are out for the night, it can be a nice place to start off before you go off somewhere else.
One last word - the tourist office at New Hut had some of the cheapest options that I could find when looking for transfers to other parts of Thailand.
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